gluten free apple spice cake & brown sugar glaze

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My sister turned 25 this week. I know right, what an old lady.

She now calls herself a cougar. If you knew my sister, you wouldn't be surprised.
Hey! It's me & my sis! We look fancy.

Since I love my sister and I love to cook, I decided to throw a birthday dinner in her honour over the weekend. Of course the first words out of her mouth when I proposed the idea were, "are you making my apple cake ?"

The apple cake she speaks of is the recipe I'm about to give you. For a small amount of time during my early twenties, I lived with my mom and sister for about 3 months. During that time I found a recipe for an apple spice cake and I made it. Since then, that became my sister's favourite cake. Anytime there's a family dinner or event or I just talk to her on the phone, she asks for this cake. She's obsessed with it.

A couple years ago she found out she's gluten intolerant. So for last years birthday I tried to make the apple cake gluten free by using a blend of rice flours, epic fail. It didn't rise, completely sunken into the bundt pan, looked horrible. She took it an ate it anyways out of the pan with a spoon. I probably would've done the same thing.

This year I was determined to make a gluten free version of this cake that actually looked nice. One that actually would rise and not be a cake lump in a pan. So again my searches through the internets brought me to the King Arthur Flour site, where they sell an all-purpose gluten free flour. Perfect right?

Worked like a charm. The cake rose perfectly, used the flour 1-1 with regular all purpose flour, the only difference was the cake was alot more crumbly than it would be if I used regular flour. It wasn't dry at all, but just didn't hold quite as well as the regular version. It was just as good. Plus when you pour a caramel, creamy sauce on top, no one really cares if it makes a little more crumbs than a gluten-filled version.

This cake could also be served for a brunch or breakfast, but to me it will always be my sister's birthday cake.
at the end of night, only one lonely piece left

Apple spice cake with brown sugar glaze

The original recipe calls for peeled apples, but I throw the apples in my food processor with the skin on to grate them. The food processor works much quicker for grating, but using just a plain box grater will be fine. It will just take longer.

[ adapted from Epicurious ]

3 cups gluten free all purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda**
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 3/4 pounds granny smith apples, cored and coarsely grated
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Glaze :

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick spray, set aside.

Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice into a medium sized bowl. Drain grated apples in strainer, using hands or a kitchen towel, squeeze out excess liquid from apples. I'm classy and use my hands. Measure 2 cups, don't have to be exact.

Using electric mixer, beat together butter, sugars and lemon peel until fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Mix in flour mixture, followed by the grated apples.

Batter will be thick so I find it easier to spoon the batter into the prepared pan and then smooth the top. Bake for an hour or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert and finish cooling on a rack.

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.

Poke cake with a skewer to make holes, pour glaze over top. Now the original recipe says to wait until it absorbs before pouring more in, but I like to add it quick and then I get a pool of glaze in the center which is yummy to serve a chunk of that with each piece. I'm weird. You can also do it the "correct" way.

Serve warm or at room temperature, will keep well for a few days but I doubt it'll last that long.

* for gluten lovers, use 3 cups all-purpose flour.
** if you are sticking to gluten free, make sure to check to see that your brand is gluten free. Some baking sodas and powders are not. I used a brand bought from a natural store which is labeled gluten free.